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Bollocks to Alton Towers: Uncommonly British Days Out [Paperback]

Robin Halstead , Jason Hazeley , Alex Morris , Joel Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Mar 2006

The British Lawnmower Museum, Keith Harding's World of Mechanical Music and Mad Jack's Sugar Loaf. In a world of theme parks, interactive exhibits, over-priced merchandise and queues, don't worry, these are names to stir the soul. Reassuring evidence that there's still somewhere to turn in search of the small, fascinating, unique and, dammit, British.

In a stumbling journey across the country in search of the best we have to offer our intrepid heroes discovered dinosaurs in South London, a cold war castle in Essex, grown men pretending to be warships in Scarborough, unexplained tunnels under Liverpool and a terraced house in Bedford being kept warm for Jesus's return. And along the way they met the people behind them all: enthusiasts, eccentrics and, you know, those who just sort of fell into looking after a vast collection of gnomes ...

Makes you proud!


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; illustrated edition edition (2 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141021209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141021201
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Delightfully sunny --miles kington, independent

odd, compelling, touching and funny, --daily mirror

inspired... little britain has nothing on this --marie claire

From the Inside Flap

The very best nooks and corners of British tourism. See the world's longest pencil, a mermaid's skeleton and a witch in a bottle. Explore the world's most terrifying bungalow, the village that was stolen and the Victorian theme park that's falling into the sea. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than a wet weekend in Fleetwood! 24 Jun 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
My 'young adult' kids bought this as my father's day present - revenge will be mind on our next cagoule clad thermos clutching day trip!
For all those of my generation ( approaching 50 too fast for comfort ) who suffered long childhood journeys in inadequately ventilated cars upholstered in warm black PVC, seaside metal spades so sharp they could take your toe off, and endless games of 'I spy'....this book is for you. With page turning and near 'brysonesk' humour and observation it makes you want more than anything to visit eccentric gems in far off reaches of Britain. Places you did not know existed, but will now add to your itinerary if you're in the area on your next holiday.
British understatement, with a slowly melting ice-cream cone of eccentric nostalgia thrown in.
Are the British the only people that have 'days out'? Does a day out mean leaving home for a period long enough to include at least one meal time? Do the French, or Germans, or even Americans go for 'proper days out'? The French probably go to the market, the Germans to sit in the park and eat too much, and the Americans to the superbowl, or megatrucks, or
Disneyland........but I bet non can compete with the British Lawnmower Museum in Southport, Mother Shipton's Cave and Dripping Well in Knaresborough, or even Gnome Magic in Colchester.
After reading the book you feel cheated that your local crowd-magnet was not listed, but then again do you want the great unwashed descending on your own private 'tourist trap' - I think not. BUY THIS BOOK>>>>>>it's brilliant.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My face aches from smiling 9 May 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book, hilarious and well written, but with an added layer of being rather touching in a funny sort of way. This book is written with a lot of joy behind it, no cynsism, no sneering and nothing needlessly negative (and because of that, it's nothing like Crap Towns btw). You can feel the genuine enthusiasm the writers seemed to feel for each of the strange little places they visited. A cliché it may be, but this book does give you a sense of "Britishness", even if you're confused as to what "Britishness" really is.
I found this book extremely witty with some big belly laughs thrown in and, strangely for a book of this sort, rather useful and informative. I shall definitely be visiting some of these places with my family when we next go on holiday. And, next time I am driving through Bedford I shall keep a beady eye out for the end of terrace house earmarked by a strange Victorian religious sect for Jesus to live in, should he ever get round to being resurrected.
In short, buy this book, it has a little more weight and rather more laughs than its coffee table brothers and sisters.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Disneyland antidote 26 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've wanted this book for ages (based on the title alone) but had been reluctant to order it without having read inside and found out exactly what it's about and what it's trying to do.
Now that I've got it, I only wish I'd bought it earlier. Living in the depths of Cumbria, it's lovely to find a 'guidebook' that has no less than 3 local places in it!
What I like best about it tries to instill a love and appreciation of the small tourist attractions in this country. All too often we ignore the random brown roadside signs to some attraction we've never heard of and prefer the safety of the well-established places such as Sealife centres or Alton Towers. Even if you never visit any of the places in this book, it makes you want to find some other ones and support somewhere that hasn't sold itself out by joining the Disneylands of this world.
The writing style is very readable and witty. You can read it as a non-fiction book not just as a guidebook. Highly highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I bought this after hearing a radio interview with the authors that made me laugh and the book did the same. This is a celebration of visitor attractions that you could only find in Britain, run by an enthusiastic collection of eccentrics who deserve the boost to their endeavours that this book should bring.

I've driven past brown tourist signs for a couple of these places, like Gnome Magic, and thought 'that could either be really great or a total waste of time'. This book convinces me that the attractions they've selected would, generally, be great. In fact, I've highlighted a number of places I want to take the kids to when we're out and about, and will refer to this book prior to trips around the UK.

The writers have lovingly scoured the country, following up recommendations to explore these places. They write about them with humour, passion, excitement and attention to detail - making them sound all the more attractive, as you find out some local history or 'secret' details and in-jokes that the average visitor might miss.

The forty-two sites span the country - from Dufftown in North-East Scotland to Porteath in Cornwall. Wherever you live, there will be at least a couple fairly near and a few you could visit if you're in other parts of the country.

Many sites sound like great alternatives to 'the usual suspects' like the Eden Project, Stonehenge or London Science Museum. There are also many sites that sound like great places for kids. The authors' descriptions of so many children having such a great time at places like Diggerworld, Cumberland Pencil Museum or Beckonscot Model Village make them sound all the more attractive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Below average
The book isnt organised well and highly textual with no easy highlights that we can use to revisit.

Didnt live up to expectations and not a book I feel like picking up... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Nattu
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardly "hilarious" but very interesting ...
On the back cover of my copy (different cover from that illustrated) it describes the book as, I quote, "hilarious". This is sheer bunk! Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2012 by B. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Book with Morris Traveller on front holds much promise.
This book arrived a couple of hours ago. Bought as a gift, I couldn't resist a few quick dips into it. After all, a book with a Morris Traveller on the front holds much promise. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2011 by Julie D
1.0 out of 5 stars It is a load of Bollocks
Absolutely dreadful, very much "Tesco book of the week" and only suitable for the Oxfam shop shelves. Quite where the promised hilarity was I do not know. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by Mr. M. Armstrong
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I bought this book, based on reviews and word of mouth, and excitedly awaited its arrival in the post.

But I was really disappointed, I was expecting it to be funny. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing!!
This particular copy was bought as a gift for a friend. Ours was purchased some two years ago - it was literally life changing. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2009 by Sue Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Holidaying in the great un united kingdom
Don't go see the queen go see the great places in this book, i dedicate this review to all my great friend in the review monetizing crew, big it up for Brian Mark and Alex.
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by Noel Twomey
1.0 out of 5 stars Huh?! :S
Ur hello! Lawn Mower Museum!!!
Whoever wrote this book obviously aimed it at older folk who need some inspiration. Cough cough! Read more
Published on 26 May 2009 by Mrs. J. M. Neal
1.0 out of 5 stars Bollocks
I searched for this book under 'comedy' and have to say it hardly raises the mouth corners at any point or at least the third I read didn't. Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2008 by jonny vegas
5.0 out of 5 stars You just have to visit. . . . . .
I was intrigued by the title and after having visited Alton Tovers, the sentiment of the title was the first attraction for me. Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2007 by Tox
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